The value for Alastair and his team has certainly been the research that Procurement Leaders produce; “It’s definitely the category and strategy stuff. That’s the place we go to on the website. If you go to my download folder on my laptop, it’s full of Procurement Leaders material.”
Procurement Leaders have also provided Sony face-to-face analysis with Tom Seal and Cara Wiggins, Procurement Leaders in-house procurement experts, presenting at Sony Europe’s annual conference; “We invite all the European procurement people once a year. We use it to give ourselves a pat on the back for the year’s successes and as a planning and review event. Last year we were focusing on category management but this year we’re looking at more innovative factors. When you have someone from outside the company coming in it really drives home the message. Tom, as the Research Director, put his money where his mouth is and came in to talk about the research. Tom really presents himself as someone who cares about procurement, which is refreshing and sets you guys apart. It’s that enthusiasm that makes people buy-in to Procurement Leaders.”
Ever a function to be looking towards the future Sony Europe were keen to hear more from Procurement Leaders on innovation and how they can make an impact on the organisation: “Tom sold the idea of pull versus push and talked through how procurement can be a revenue driver and not just affecting a savings machine. He talked about how procurement can work with vendors to drive value and he placed importance on SRM. For people to come up to me to say thank you for arranging the Procurement Leaders presentation shows how useful if really was.”
Sony began a highly successful Vendor Management Process in 2015. Starting with a segmentation exercise based on potential value, business importance and an appetite to collaborate, they then identified 14 key vendors to complete a vendor management exercise with the aim of improving the relationship. The exercise focused on financial benefit, contract compliance, efficiency and risk management. The relationship was measured by a 360-degree survey based on SRM best practice, scored on a scale of 1-5. Cross Functional working groups per relationship were formed and consisted of the business operational stakeholder, vendor stakeholder, and the procurement & vendor manager in an effort to deliver the needed improvements. The survey results were used to prioritise areas which required the most improvement per relationship and to develop a comprehensive vendor management process for the following year in order to address the main consistent improvement areas. The survey was then repeated at the end of the year to identify tangible improvements in the relationship.
Talent is also an area of key importance to Alastair and the rest of Sony Europe team as they realise that without the best staff they won’t be able to impact the business in the manner they desire. Their focus on retaining the top talent led them to receiving the Procurement Leaders award for ‘Best Procurement Employer’ in 2015: “The success of the award was that we wrote it in an honest way and the people from within our teams were involved. Our intro was ‘this award submission is written by the people that have done it’. We wrote from the heart and not via our communications team. I feel we won it as we are very focused on our team. We try to hire the best and we work hard to retain them. We try to make sure our staff have the tasks and jobs that will keep them satisfied. Procurement Leaders have come on leaps and bounds for their recognition and visibility and seeing the people we were shortlisted against made you stand out as a global leader in our chosen field.”
With Sony Europe’s procurement team already taking big strides, Procurement Leaders looks forward to helping them continue to develop their function.